Managing projects can be a real pain in the goolies, especially if you don't have the right system in place to do it effectively.
And while some project management applications will take a big wet bite out of your budget, surprisingly, there are some excellent free (and freemium) alternatives worth considering.
In this post, I'll give you a quick breakdown of all the key players in the market, as well as my own personal rating of each.
13 Project Management Apps
Use the table below to jump to a specific project management application
|Asana||An easy way for teams to track their work—and get results|
|Trello||Work more collaboratively and get more done|
|BaseCamp||Project management & team communication software|
|Wrike||The world’s most successful companies trust Wrike |
to accomplish more
|FreedCamp||Group efforts made effortless|
|MeisterTask||The most intuitive project and task management tool on the web|
|Producteev||Task management software for teams|
|Allthings||Take control of your tasks, teams and time|
|KanbanFlow||Board management and project planning|
|Avaza||Beautiful software to run your client-focused business|
|Bitrix24||Your company. United.|
|Podio||Your workflows, structured and smarter|
|Redbooth||Easy-to-use task & project management software|
Asana is your to-do list on steroids. It offers a clear and robust platform allowing you to break projects down into smaller, manageable tasks and delegate those tasks to individual people on your team.
- Assign due dates to specific team members via tasks and sub-tasks
- Internal conversations allowing you to keep records of everything
- Files and attachments to centralize all project related documents
- Search past projects for tasks, conversations and files
- Integrations with Chrome, Dropbox, Slack and more...
Free plan: Unlimited tasks, projects and conversations for up to 15 team members.
Trello takes a more "flexible" approach to project management using the popular card-based system. By setting up boards, you can create draggable items that can each be assigned to members of your team.
- Add comments to any card on any of your boards
- Upload and store file attachments for yourself or others
- Invite people and delegate by simply dragging and dropping
- Get notifications via the app, email, desktop or browser
- Real-time task updates across all devices (without refreshing)
Free plan: Unlimited boards, lists, cards, members, checklists, and attachments (up to 10mb).
Basecamp is another team-based project management app that aims to bring everyone's work under one roof. The platform is broken into 3 levels, allowing you to take a birds eye view, as well as focus on individual teams or projects.
- Dedicated discussion boards keep all communication in one place
- To-do's allow you to assign tasks and set due dates to team members
- Automatic check-ins gather status updates without having to ask
- Group chat and instant messaging is built right into the platform
- Detailed reporting to give you insights into every aspect of a project
Free plan: BaseCamp is only free for teachers and students.
As well as having your own 'Personal Dashboard' where you can manage your work, Wrike offers an easy feedback and approval system for teams. The live activity stream also provides instant updates of project activity which saves your email inbox from overflowing.
- Mention your teammates using ‘@’ for real-time communication
- Drag and drop your daily tasks on your timeline in your Personal Dashboard
- Highlight content to comment and approve your teammates’ work
- Monitor project activity through the Live Stream
- Synchronize milestones in the team calendar
Free plan: Task sharing, file management, activity stream, spreadsheet view, 2GB of storage space, for up to 5 users.
FreedCamp does what it says on the tin, offering free software for companies, no matter how large or small your team is. With unlimited storage and projects, as well as unlimited users, the sky's the limit with this project management app.
- Task management in the form of written lists and sticky notes
- A built-in calendar for adding tasks, milestones and events in one place
- An easy-to-use invoicing system to bill clients
- The ability to turn projects into a template for repeat use
Free plan: Tasks, discussions, milestones, time management, file sharing, and Google calendar.
MeisterTask specialises in assigning tasks and following your teammates’ progress using flexible project boards. You can also customize your dashboard which enables you to see your whole day at a glance.
- Develop task relationships by labelling as related, duplicated or blocked by other tasks
- Assign automatic actions to projects
- Allows integration with other tools, such as Slack, Github, Bitbucket, and Zendesk
- Manage your files by linking to the cloud
Free plan: Unlimited projects and tasks, unlimited users, customized dashboards and project boards, integration with other apps, and file attachments up to 20MB.
Producteev, like MeisterTask, focuses on task management as their unique selling point. Their “productivity in your pocket” offering includes to-do list management, the assignment of tasks and retrieving real-time updates on any mobile, tablet or PC device.
- Use the Network to keep track of your projects, task and collaborators
- Customize and privatize projects
- Categorize and prioritize your tasks with labels and sub-tasks
- Sort by people, task, projects, or due date using the specialized filters
Free plan: Unlimited users and projects, real-time updates and push notifications, task management, specialized filters, activity tracking, and support community.
Allthings is all about the personalization! They offer a free 14-day trial for their project management software which allows you to customize your viewing panels. Allthings focuses on flexibility, through dragging and dropping tasks, as well as grouping and sorting projects.
- Create and share plans, projects and tasks
- Centralize communication and balance workloads
- Use progress reporting to track projects
- Share and comment on documents with your team
Free plan: up to 5 lists, unlimited tasks, projects, and collaborators.
KanbanFlow offers a simple, easy-to-use system which is all about improving your productivity. It is perhaps one of the prettiest project management apps, with its multi-colored coding system – ooh la la!
- Assign tasks with progress labels to update the rest of the team
- Precisely track how much time you spend on tasks
- Visualize your current work progress in one place on the dashboard
- Use the analytics and reporting to assess your work performance
- Allows integration with your email and calendar systems
Free plan: unlimited boards and tasks, create sub-tasks, filter tasks, and time management features.
Avaza offers from-start-to-finish project management software. It allows you to follow your team’s work progress from the creation of to-do-lists right up to client billing. Unlike some of the other apps, they also offer payment management with a professional quotes and invoicing system.
- Manage projects with task building, notifications and activity feeds
- Integrate email with task-based discussions
- Use the Timesheets for an online time tracking solution
- Manage staff expenses and professional quotes to clients
- Use the invoicing system to bill clients for your work
Free plan: Unlimited project collaborators, 1 user with timesheet and expenses access, 1 user with admin and invoice access, 5 active projects, 10 customers, 5 invoices per month, and up to 100MB of storage.
This project management software is all about the little people! Putting collaboration at the forefront of its offering, Bitrix24 offers multiple communication and management tools, including its own social network. (Yeah, for real.)
- Manage tasks and share documents with your team
- View your team’s progress with the live activity stream
- “Like” content and use “badges” to show appreciation towards your teammates
- Upload and share photos in your team’s Photo Gallery
- Use the Instant Messenger for project discussions
Free plan: 5GB storage, Enterprise Social Network, Instant Messenger, unlimited tasks and projects, reporting, time tracking, file sharing, and time management, for up to 12 users.
Podio believes in “tighter communication for greater durability” offering a simple project management app where you can customize the structure according to your team’s requirements. You can also invite anyone you please to Podio, including freelancers, clients and other team members.
- Attach files, view the status and add comments to every task
- See the overall progress of your team at a glance through the dashboard
- Integrate file sharing services, customer support tools and marketing apps
- Offers a support community for all users
Free plan: Task management and workspace management for up to 5 employees and 5 external members.
Redbooth is based on task management and uses a straightforward design to list projects that are both outstanding and in progress. It allows you to assign and delegate tasks to your team, as well as create visual project timelines to make sure everybody stays on track.
- Manage your projects by breaking them down into tasks and sub-tasks
- Create fresh workspaces for each project, team, or client
- Use the reporting tools to track overall productivity
- Share files with your team and discuss through commenting/hashtags
Free plan: Up to 5 workspaces, 2GB of file storage, Gantt charts and reporting, project templates, email support, and integrations with Google Drive, Slack and Dropbox.
It’s so easy to feel overwhelmed when it comes to deciding which project management app to go for, as there’s currently heaps of variety out there.
After reading my analysis of the best freebies, you should have everything you need to establish a well-informed choice that will make your work, and your life, much easier! (And hopefully I've alleviated the pain in your goolies. Because no one deserves that.)